To be completely honest, I was slightly apprehensive to put this post up and share this recipe initially. All you bolognese aficionados will probably gasp in horror and shock at my debasement of a classic while the rest of you will probably just think it is weird. But … that is part of the fun of being part of two very different cultures and living in a society that loves to pick and mix – you get interesting new things you did not think could work together.
This curry spag bol, is something my mother kind of threw together to appease my father and his side of the family. Christmas used to be a massive affair with everyone over and my mother having to feed an army of people – my father has 8 siblings, so with their spouses and children it was a huge get together and many mouths to feed. The only problem was that making something everyone enjoyed was not always the easiest and Danish Christmas food which most of the kids enjoyed never really hit the spot for the adults.
To be fair this holds true for both sides of my family. My father and his side of the family need spices in their meals and definitely never quite fell full without rice. My mother’s side on the other hand was the complete opposite (except for my moster – aunt). I can distinctly recall my very Danish grandfather opening up the windows to “air out his house” because he found the smell of my instant noodles way too “strong” and overwhelming when I visited (I still roll my eyes at this!). So to appease everyone my mother needed to get creative.
This particular dish is a staple in our home and has even featured at birthday parties with friends, who until this day are shocked when I tell them the secret ingredient is curry powder and spices. Also, because most of my family are Hindu (I officially am on paper, just not a very good one) and therefore do not eat beef, this dish is made with minced lamb but can be made with minced beef. We have also made it with minced chicken which is pretty good too.
And while I know it sounds a little weird, Dan is now a convert too and I often get “Can you make your mom’s bolognese please!”. Think of it as a twist between a bolognese and a lamb kheema, which can be served with rice or pasta.
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 teaspooon fennel seeds
1 white onion / 3 shallots diced
5 cloves of garlic diced
450gm of minced lamb/beef/chicken
2 tbsp curry powder (I use Babas which is a Malaysian brand but any curry powder will do)
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 medium sized carrots cut into cubes
2 cups frozen green peas
1.5 tsp oregano
1.5 tsp basil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Alternative for bolded bits
1 can tomato paste (6oz)
1 can Prego sauce
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 cups of frozen mixed veggies
1. Fry the fennel, cinnamon stick and cloves in oil. Once you can smell the spices add garlic and onions.
2. Once onions are cooked add meat.
3. Once the meat is mostly cooked through add the carrots and curry powder, and fry until fragrant.
4. Then add can tomatoes, passata, salt and pepper to taste. Add a cup of water to the dish.
5. Let simmer for about 7 minutes then add cheese, basil and oregano.
6. Let simmer for another 5 minutes then finally add the frozen peas.
7. Once peas have cooked (about 1-2 mins) it is ready to serve.
8. Serve with pasta or white rice.
And here is a video!
As always, ENJOY!